January 6, 2021

The work starts now

I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty raw right now. I am wondering when our nation became so enamored of conspiracy theories? Maybe we have always been that way. Growing up in Dallas, I heard my share of theories about Kennedy’s assassination and the grassy knoll.

But the damage being done now is adding up rapidly and more people are dying. The seditious acts in DC are on everyone’s minds right now. And still, followers of Trump and QAnon, choose to believe the election was stolen. They seem unable to think logically. I don’t think there is any doubt in most of our minds about the racism on display, as well as the difference in how these white rioters, armed and threatening violence, were treated; compared to the treatment of peaceful Black Lives Matters demonstrators. Tear gas, pepper spray, flash bangs, and arrests were rare today. Our nation is at a crossroads.

The truth matters. We, as a nation, have lost the truth, which is costing more and more lives and livelihoods. Right now, people are angry about Trump’s lies about the election and his traitorous inciting of violence at the capitol, the only way he could possibly win. Even the cynical senators who are objecting to the state’s electoral counts know the truth, but still play the game to raise money and curry supporters. Perhaps, some Republicans now see that this dangerous game needs to stop. The others who continue to play the game should be held accountable. There are no more excuses.

I am angry about the deep dive this country has made into “alternate facts”. This is not about the election alone. This is about the response to the pandemic. From the beginning Trump lied and led people astray, he downplayed the risks, encouraged people to not mask and protest the measures meant to keep people safe. The facts are damning. Consequently, 361,000 Americans have died and counting, projected to be 560,000 by April 1st. Heartbreaking is the cost to medical personal who paid with their lives to help ill patients, including COVID 19 deniers. His voters, in particular, have exacerbated the pandemic. It did not have to be this way.

Everyday, I get an email update of the number of infections and deaths in Seattle, Washington state, and other states I am interested in. Here in King County, Washington, where people follow the guidelines, only 1 in 34 people have been infected and 1 in 2105 people have died. Compare that to the US as a whole, where 1 in 16 people have been infected and 1 in 928 have died. But it really strikes home when you look at South Dakota where the governor, a Trump supporter, actively discouraged social distancing and masking. In South Dakota, 1 out 9 people have been infected and 1 out of 585 people have died. Facts matter, science matters. We are not taking rights away, we are preventing unnecessary deaths and suffering.

All of this is very disturbing and we are in a very precarious time. I, for one, am tired of the Whiny-ass Titty Babies* complaining about wearing a mask, while only being concerned about their rights and no one else’s.

People are getting their news from social media, which dangerously pulls people into the arena of conspiracy. These conspiracy theories are dangerous, as we recently heard about the pharmacist who ruined 500 doses of Modena vaccine because of his belief in conspiracy theories about the vaccine.

So we have work to do, starting with realizing how many good people have worked tirelessly over the past 10 months, many helping with the pandemic but so many more working to get out the vote and start to turn the country in a different direction. We outnumber the angry mobs. Yes, many voted for Trump, but Biden was a clear and strong winner. We received the amazing news today from Georgia that the two senate races went to the Democrats. Now Biden has a chance to govern and bring us back to a healthier place.

The work starts now, as Heather Cox Richardson said today. We can help the country heal. The vaccine will be rolled out, we can start to re-educate members of Trump’s cult as some of them start to emerge from the fog of deception. Others should be held accountable. We work to educate ourselves and start to heal the things that have been injured the past 4 years. The next steps are not going to be easy, and we can learn to speak up when the lies and disinformation start. You know what to do.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and remember the work starts now.

* Whiny-ass Titty Babies: learned from my brother Clint Brown

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03035-4 trump meddling

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/the-inside-story-of-how-trumps-denial-mismanagement-and-magical-thinking-led-to-the-pandemics-dark-winter/

https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america?view=total-deaths&tab=trend

https://www.statista.com/chart/23847/healthcare-worker-deaths-in-the-pandemic-by-occupation/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/wisconsin-pharmacist-ruin-covid-vaccines-baseless-conspiracies

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/01/among-insurrectionists/617580/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/01/healthcare-workers-covid-conspiracies-coronavirus-deniers

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/01/disinformation-us-election-covid-pandemic-trump-biden

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/covid-disinformation-sites-often-use-tools-from-google-facebook-and-apple-report-finds/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/nov/11/how-2020-transformed-big-tech-the-story-of-facebook-qanon-and-the-worlds-slackening-grip-on-reality

https://blog.ucsusa.org/jacob-carter/the-damage-to-science-that-president-elect-biden-can-undo-with-a-stroke-of-a-pen

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/11/trump-voters-pandemic-failures/617051/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/trump-disinformation-journalism-next-steps/2020/11/20/6a634378-2ac8-11eb-92b7-6ef17b3fe3b4_story.html